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  • 6/11/2013

Differences between a Monarchic and Islamic System of Government


irans election

· Way of Attribution

Despotism is a totally unbridled system under personal despotic whims, but absolutism of Islamic jurisprudence means the Islamic jurisprudent possesses the same power of leadership of Islamic Ummah like the Prophet (S). It is the most important precept in theology and prior to all other secondary precepts. Thus Islamic ruler can prevent the course of any religious or unreligious action that proves to be against the Islamic law.[i] In other words, the jurist possesses absolute authority in enforcement of Islamic precepts[ii] unlike the despotic ruler whose absolute power is to safeguard the personal or party interests.

· Despotic Ruler and Islamic Jurisprudent

The qualifications for Islamic jurisprudent has been clearly mentioned in Article 5 of the Constitutional Law of the I. R. of Iran:

“During the occultation of Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance), the leadership of the Ummah devolve upon the just and pious person, who is fully aware of the circumstances of his age, courageous, resourceful, and possessed of administrative ability, will assume the responsibilities of this office …”‌

Continuation of the authority of Islamic jurisprudent depends upon maintaining these qualifications. He will be deposed of his rule when he loses one of the above qualifications. It is the duty of the Assembly of Experts to probe into the qualifications of the religious leader, decide on his deposal and assign his successor. This is because the qualifications are not confined to the time of leadership and they must be observed throughout his rule. In despotic systems, the ruler is for life. No qualifications have been considered for him either when assuming power or during his rule.


[i] Imam Khomeini, Sahifeh Nour, 170/20

[ii] Javadi Amoli, Islamic Jurisprudence, 251

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:

Theocracy and Objectives of government in Islamic political system

Fundamental Theories of Extra-Religious Approach

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